Networks in the past were defined by the traffic they carried. The network management systems that can track performance statistics, alarms and diagnostics are usually called operations support systems. As number of applications carried over a network grew, networks cannot scale economically. They become large, complex and expensive. Network performance became an important issue to network designers, operators and implementers to design, implement and maintain scalable, reliable and resilient networks. In this research, we developed a comparative analysis for two tools commonly utilized to aid network operations support to arrive at decisions related to network scalability, performance evaluation and renewal. The two approaches used in this study are simulation using "OPNET" network simulation package and monitoring using one of the market leader monitoring tool the "HP Open View" package. To demonstrate the applicability of these tools in a real life environment, an existing network environment was selected to provide a test bed for our performance evaluation. The case used is a campus network belonging to the American University in Cairo which can be categorized as medium size network. The selected case was particularly of interest to us because it has undergone several evolutionary stages: from a flat-bridged network Fiber distributed Data Interface (FDDI) backbone, to hierarchically designed ATM-based backbone to its current multilevel architecture Gigabit-based backbone. Through the application of the two approaches, simulation and monitoring analysis, the research demonstrated how network management tools can effectively provide the designers, implementers and operations staff important signals. As such, they can reply to challenges they face in order to provide their network community with the desired level of performance and help in deciding future directions for their network growth.


School of Sciences and Engineering


Computer Science & Engineering Department

Degree Name

MS in Computer Science

Date of Award


Online Submission Date


First Advisor

Ahmed Sameh

Second Advisor

Sami El-Akabawi

Committee Member 1

Ahmed Sameh

Committee Member 2

Awad Khalil

Committee Member 3

Mahmoud El Hadidi

Document Type



198 leaves

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Computer networks

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Computer networks


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Call Number

Thesis 2003/63